Art Industry News: Paul McCartney Says That John Lennon’s Desire to Make Art With Yoko Ono Really Did Break Up the Beatles + Other Stories

Plus, the Museum of Modern Art fills top leadership positions and Danish artist Jens Galschiøt fights the removal of his sculpture in Hong Kong.

The Beatles at VC's animation studios participating in Mod Odyssey, a film about the creation of "Yellow Submarine" in London in 1967. (Photo by Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images)

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Wednesday, October 13.


Danish Artist Hires Lawyer to Fight His Sculpture’s Removal in Hong Kong – Jens Galschiøt has hired a lawyer to liaise with the University of Hong Kong, which has demanded The Pillar of Shame, his sculpture commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing, be removed by 5 p.m. today local time. Liquidators of the now-disbanded Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which had looked after the work since 1997, said the university should contact Galschiøt directly as the artist has said he is the rightful owner of the work. (Press release)

MoMA Makes Leadership Appointments – The Museum of Modern Art has made four top appointments. Longtime MoMA curator Sarah Suzuki has been named associate director, filling a role previously occupied by Kathy Halbreich, who was tapped to lead the Rauschenberg Foundation in 2017. Meanwhile, Beverly Morgan-Welch is the museum’s new senior deputy director of external affairs; Christy Thompson has been named senior deputy director of exhibitions and collections; and Nisa Mackie has been tapped to become deputy director of learning and audience engagement. (Press release)

Is Art to Blame for the Beatles’s Breakup? – Decades on, Paul McCartney has revisited the breakup of the famous rock band. While the public long believed McCartney was the instigator, the music legend has affirmed a different longtime rumor: it was John Lennon—and his desire to collaborate with artist wife Yoko Ono—that sparked the split. “The point of it really was that John was making a new life with Yoko, and he wanted to go in a bag and lie in bed for a week in Amsterdam, for peace,” McCartney said in an interview, referring to Ono and Lennon’s concept of Bagism and their art project Bed-ins for Peace in 1969. (Vanity FairBBC)

Artist Atta Kwami Has Died – The Ghanian artist died on October 6 at the age of 65, according to the Serpentine Galleries in London, where an exhibition of his work is set to open in 2022. Born in Accra, Kwami created colorful geometric paintings and prints that evoke architecture and traditional textiles. He also helped document and preserve his native art history as a curator and historian; he is the author of the 2013 book Kusami Realism, 1951–2007: An African Modernism. Kwami won the Maria Lassnig Prize earlier this year and was working on the public art commission that accompanies the award. (Artforum)


Catherine Nichols to Curate Manifesta 2022 – The Berlin-based Australian has been appointed curator and artistic director of the upcoming edition of Manifesta, which is set to take place in Prishtina, Kosovo in 2022. She recently curated the acclaimed exhibitions about Joseph Beuys that took place across Germany in 2021. (Press release)

Julie Mehretu Joins Whitney Board – On the heels of her career survey, artist Julie Mehretu is one of seven new board members at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and only the third artist ever to hold a board seat, following Fred Wilson and the late artist Chuck Close. Mehretu’s fellow appointees include Eric L. Motley, the deputy director of the National Gallery of Art in D.C., and Jen Rubio, the co-founder of luggage brand Away. (New York Times

Imperial War Museum Opens Multimillion-Pound Holocaust Wing – The U.K. museum opened new galleries this week that commemorate the atrocities of the Holocaust. Some of the last remaining survivors were there to open the new £30 million ($40 million) wing, which spans 3,000 square meters and tells survivors’ stories through personal objects. (Evening Standard)


See Marcus Rashford’s Manchester Mural on Google Maps – A mural in Manchester on the side of a cafe dedicated to soccer player Marcus Rashford will appear on Google Maps to honor Black History Month in October. You can find the mural, which was defaced after Italy beat England during the 2020 Euro Cup, in the athlete’s hometown of Withington, South Manchester by combing Google Street View. (Evening Standard)

People gather to view the messages of support at the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images.

People gather to view the messages of support at the mural of Manchester United striker and England player Marcus Rashford on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images.

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